The story of Star Wars: Battleront 2, EA, and microtransactions continues to develop. Right before launch, EA flipped the switch, entirely turning off in-game, real-money purchases. This was after weeks of consumer outrage over both the “pay to win” nature of the loot boxes, as well as the tremendous grinding needed to access all the content with or without paying money. Now, Lucasfilm has released a statement on the situation, and word has broke that Disney itself may have been involved in the temporary shutdown.
In speaking with the Washington Post, Lucasfilm, the company responsible for Star Wars-related TV and film production, gave a statement on the whole controversial situation. In the statement, Lucasfilm said that Star Wars “has always been about the fans.” The spokesperson also said that Lucasfilm supports the move to temporarily remove in-game purchases from Star Wars: Battlefront II.
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported its own findings about the situation, namely that the call to address the problem in such a manner came from way up the ladder, from Star Wars IP-owner and media giant Disney itself. Jimmy Pitaro, a Disney executive at the top of the consumer products and interactive media decision, reportedly spoke to EA mere hours before the decision was made, informing executives there that after all the issues, especially with news of international organizations investigating the game amid gambling concerns, Disney executives were upset. Concerns were especially revolving around how this situation would affect the overall Star Wars property.
Obviously EA has yet to make any announcements about what changes are coming to the game’s progression system, but based on early sales reports it may be a too little, too late deal no matter what ends up happening.